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NHL Hypes Regional Ratings

This is a huge press release from the NHL, detailing various business and broadcasting numbers. I will post the full release after the jump. But first, I’m going to highlight some of the regional ratings that are included since much of the other information mentioned is dated and already known –

First Quarter Filled With TV Ratings Highlights

Eleven local Regional Sports Networks experienced double- and triple-digit growth, including:

• Nashville (+200 percent)
• Carolina (+125 percent)
• Florida (+100 percent)
• Tampa Bay (+71 percent)
• Philadelphia (+60 percent)
• Boston (+57 percent)
• Minnesota (+53 percent)
• San Jose (+44 percent)
• Buffalo (+26 percent)
• Edmonton (+21 percent)
• New York Rangers (+14 percent)

There’s some huge bumps in there, but keep in mind that for many of the Southern teams, ratings couldn’t go much lower. In the case of the Predators, their local ratings are rarely published, so we don’t know where they previously ranked on the totem pole. Clearly, Florida is seeing a boost from their strong start but they have a long ways to go when it comes to being respectable ratings wise. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can continue that momentum since they have been struggling on the ice. A quick update. The Carolina and Nashville ratings include the Atlanta market for the first time. This helps explain their jumps a little bit. Either way, its good to see more people tuning in. Thanks to Dirk Hoag at On the Forecheck for the info.

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A Few Scribbles

Here’s a few scribbles on NHL ratings and business as the weekend comes closer.

RATINGS UPDATE

We have some TSN ratings for you in addition to my prior post. TSN PR man Greg McIssac reports that Wednesday’s Toronto/Boston matchup drew a strong 1.27 million viewers on average. That’s not a surprise as the Leafs ratings continue to soar. Add in an rival and you have a very good number.

There’s been plenty of Boston Bruins ratings that have been leaking out lately. Each one seems to set a new record and that streak continues. Fang’s Bites reports that NESN had a record November with the B’s averaging a 5.3 rating. That’s up from the previous high of 4.0 which was garnered this past March.

The Bruins aren’t the only team with some impressive numbers. The Buffalo Sabres are always near the top of the ratings heap and their numbers are only growing. Ironically, the Bruins were involved in this one too. Puck The Media has the details –

The Buffalo Sabres’ tilt with the Boston Bruins on Nov. 23 drew the highest television rating so far this season for telecasts on MSG. The divisional matchup posted a 12.1 rating and a 20 share regionally. Ratings for the telecast actually peaked at 14.9 during the shootout when Boston’s Benoit Pouliot beat Jhonas Enroth to seal a 4-3 victory for the Bruins.

“The matchup was arguably the most anticipated of the season,” said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. Our fans are awesome and we are very pleased and humbled by the fact that for the second straight month, the Buffalo Sabres’ television ratings on MSG continue to lead all US-based NHL teams.”

The 12.1 rating indicates that 12.1 percent of television-equipped households were tuned into the game at some point during the broadcast and the 20 share means 20 percent of households watching TV in the region Wednesday night were watching the game.

Last Wednesday’s ratings were the highest among the 19 Sabres games broadcast on MSG so far this season. The second-most viewed contest was the team’s home opener against Carolina on Oct. 14, which drew an 11.5 rating and 18 share regionally.

On average, MSG telecasts of Sabres games have earned an 8.81 rating regionally so far this season. The team posted the highest ratings in three years during the month October when telecasts drew an average rating of 8.3.

BLUE JACKETS GET A NEW REPORTER 

When John Michael was named the new radio voice of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, that left the Columbus Blue Jackets searching for a new reporter. With the NBA lockout coming towards an end, the Jackets and Fox Sports Ohio have made their choice. Natalie Taylor will join Fox’s coverage beginning on December 8. Taylor is somewhat familiar to Ohioans as she’s previously worked in Columbus and for FS Ohio. Additionally, Taylor does have hockey in her past. She spent two years as the Atlanta Thrashers sideline reporter on SportSouth.

FORBES NHL VALUES

One of the most controversial things to come out every year is Forbes’ NHL valuations. The latest have been released and Toronto continues to hold the number one spot. The New York Rangers, Montreal, Detroit and Boston round out the top five. For more insight on the rankings and the league’s financial growth, check out Puck Drunk Love’s interview with Forbes Sr. Editor Kurt Badenhausen.

NHL SEES STRONG SALES OVER HOLIDAY WEEKEND

The Thanksgiving weekend brought record sales to NHL.com and the NHL store. From NHL.com –

The League saw strong sales growth of its licensed product over the holiday shopping weekend (Nov. 26 -29), illustrating an increased fan demand.

North American retail sales are up 11 percent post Black Friday, while NHL team store and concessionaires are up 15 percent in per cap sales year-to-date. Products driving sales growth include NHL Video Games, specifically EA Sports NHL 11 (up 20 percent), 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic apparel (up 41 percent), women’s apparel (up 52 percent), men’s apparel (up 22 percent), and Franklin NHL street hockey equipment (up 32 percent).

The NHL has also once again registered record-setting merchandise sales at both the NHL Powered by Reebok Store and at Shop.NHL.com over the Thanksgiving weekend. NHL Powered by Reebok recorded its largest Black Friday sales figures in the four year history of the New York City store with a 7 percent increase over last year’s record-breaking sales. The record-setting Thanksgiving weekend generated additional momentum in sales figures for the store. For the full month of November, sales were up 16 percent this year compared to last, and overall store sales this year (Jan.-Nov. 2010) have increased 9 percent from 2009.

Shop.NHL.Com experienced its second-highest grossing sales day ever on Black Friday with a remarkable 153 percent increase for the day over 2009. The highest grossing sales day to date on Shop is still the day after the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.   Remarkably, 50 percent of customers on Black Friday were new to Shop.NHL.com.

The top-five selling items on Shop.NHL.com from Black Friday through Cyber Monday were:

* Reebok Pittsburgh Penguins 2011 Winter Classic Premier Jersey
* Reebok New York Rangers Premier Third Jersey
* Reebok Pittsburgh Penguins 2011 NHL Winter Classic Hooded Sweatshirt
* Reebok Philadelphia Flyers Premier Home Jersey
* Warner Home Video Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin Great 8 DVD

SPONSORSHIP UPDATE

Finally, there’s some sponsorship news out there that I have Tweeted but I haven’t posted about them so here we go. First off, you’ve probably noticed all those ads and rink signage for “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the new movie that will be released on December 21. The ads are part of a deal the league signed with Paramount Pictures. According to Variety, the league has long suited a film studio for a deal and it now has its wish.

And earlier this week, Visa Canada renewed its deal with the league. The new pact is for three years and makes Visa the official payment card of the NHL in Canada. While this is confusing, the deal doesn’t affect the league’s sponsorship with Discover in the US. The two companies have the same branding but can only use it for the country they are paying for, so don’t expect any Visa commercials on NBC and Versus anytime soon.

 

Kamal & Oake Join CJOB in Winnipeg

Another one of the Atlanta Thrashers broadcasters has found a job. Yesterday, Matt McConnell was named the voice of the Phoenix Coyotes. Today, we have word that radio play by play man Dan Kamal is headed to cover the Winnipeg Jets in a natural transition. The bad news for Kamal is that he won’t be calling any Jets games. Instead, he’s going to CJOB-AM as a Jets reporter and he will be a part of their pre-game and post-game shows. Curiously, Kamal will still be based in Atlanta and will only be an site reporter for Jets road games.

CJOB has also announced that CBC’s Scott Oake will be a part of their Jets coverage. Oake will not be leaving CBC as this will be a side job for the Hockey Night in Canada reporter. Oake currently lives in Winnipeg and got his television start with CBC’s Winnipeg affiliate.

CJOB was the longtime rights holder of the Manitoba Moose before losing out on Jets games to Bell Media and TSN’s Sports Radio 1290.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Atlanta Thrashers, NHL, Retail, Winnipeg Jets

 

NOTES: NHL Meets Phineas and Ferb, Versus Name Change, Lalime Joins RDS

It’s the weekend and after a wild week of announcements, it’s a good time to slow down and catch up on some notes from the past week.

NHL EXCHANGE & DISNEY LICENSING DEAL

For those who don’t know, the NHL Exchange is the NHL’s major retail merchandising convention.  The 6th Annual show was held on July 20 and 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. At the trade show, NHL licensees, retailers and sales representatives get together for meetings, sales deals and previews of upcoming merchandising for the new season.  The NHL is on the heels of a record breaking year when it comes to merchandising and that leads to some peculiar licensing deals.  One bizarre one was announced this week with Disney.  From the press release:

The National Hockey League (NHL) and Disney Consumer Products have revealed plans to co-brand merchandise featuring characters from Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning animated series, Phineas and Ferb, in the 2011-12 NHL season. The NHL made the announcement today at the 2011 NHL Exchange licensed products and retail trade show inside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Disney and the NHL collection will include apparel, headwear, house and home products and collectibles featuring characters from Phineas and Ferb wearing NHL and team-branded merchandise. NHL and Disney licensees will deliver the new products to retail stores throughout North America in fall 2011, just in time for the new school year and the 2011-12 NHL season.

“The Phineas and Ferb brand evokes creativity, youthfulness and high energy, not unlike the NHL brand,” said Jim Haskins, Group Vice President, Consumer Product Licensing. “The NHL is thrilled to be working with such a premier Disney property as nearly one third of NHL fans are between the ages of six and 17, and 65 percent of those fans watch the Disney Channel.”

“Just like the game of hockey, Phineas and Ferb is successful because it appeals to a diverse demographic—kids and grown-ups, boys and girls,” said Stephen Teglas, vice president and general manager of Fashion & Home North America at Disney Consumer Products. “We look forward to bringing the humor of the series to NHL fans with a fun campaign at arenas and through clever products that showcase our two brands. It also seems like the kind of adventure that Phineas and Ferb would imagine.”

I never thought those two went together but good for the NHL! What’s next, Spongebob merchandise?  It’s certainly an interesting combination and hopefully we’ll see some NHL themed products in non-traditional places like the Disney Store.  Of course, Disney and the league have a long history with ESPN and the Anaheim franchise. Also, the league announced a renewal of it’s deal with Franklin Sports to produce street hockey gear.  For some more info on what the exchange is and what went on there, check out the links and the videos from The Hockey News and NHL.com below.

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